Monday, October 12, 2009

Not All Wrongful Conduct is a Crime

Last week we mentioned that there are so many laws on the books, prosecutors can find something to pin on anyone, including the Pope. We also wrote about the serious problems with the dishonest "honest services fraud" charge that is the favorite prosecutorial weapon of the Rove Republican Racket's legion of U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

Today, we found a judge in Florida who is taking a stand against labeling all wrongful conduct a crime.

It seem the former Speaker of the House in Florida, Rep. Ray Sansom (pictured) tricked some of his colleagues into funding a $6 million educational project that eventually had a community college building an airport hanger that was then leased to one of Sansom's top political contributors.

According to the Palm Beach Post:
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that while Rep. Sansom is accused of doing something wrong, "not every wrongful conduct is a crime." Judge Lewis said that although Rep. Sansom might have fooled the public and his colleagues in the Legislature, such deception didn't equate to the crime of official misconduct. If legislators had been sharp enough and inquisitive enough, they could have spotted the $6 million and stripped it from the budget. "The fact that Mr. Sansom may have misled other members of the Legislature by hiding from them his 'true' intent, does not make the appropriations act itself false,'' Judge Lewis wrote. The budget, as written, wasn't a lie or a false document; it was just a bad law. If courts ever decided that writing a bad law was a crime, Judge Lewis said, it would violate the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government.
If Rove and friends were ever to stick their nose in this matter, they would have prosecuted Sansom for "Honest Services Fraud." Luckily for Sansom, he's a dyed-in-the-wool Rove-Bush Republican.